Editor’s Note: Pretty much every time I felt Temple did the right thing on a coaching hire, I dashed off a note to the new coach congratulating him on the gig. That meant only Al Golden and Matt Rhule got letters. Al sent me a note telling me that he was still waiting on a player who could turn out to be the best in his first class, Kee-Ayre Griffin, and asking me to wish him luck. Matt called me and we had a very cordial and nice 35-minute conversation and he picked my brain on which Temple fans to network with and how to build support. Haven’t heard from Rod yet, but will keep his thoughts under wraps until after he’s gone when I do. If it’s after six years with four division and two league titles, it will be a successful run. We typed this on a word processor and sent it in an old-fashioned, stamped envelope. He should have received it last Thursday.
Dear Rod,Belated congratulations for getting the Temple head coaching job from a 40-year season ticket holder and Temple alumn.I wanted to send this right away but knew you were engrossed in hitting the ground running with recruiting and staffing obligations but I was there in the room on the day you introduced and was impressed in a way that I was not on prior coaching introductions.I have a vested interest in you succeeding because, ever since Al Golden left, I’ve always felt that the Temple head coaching model should be hiring a successful FBS head coach and you certainly fit that description.Golden was what Temple needed in 2005–someone who knew how to build a program from the ground up–with a binder full of ideas on how to do it.Once he left five years later, the program was already established and 20,000 Temple fans drove down I95 from Philadelphia to watch the Owls play UCLA in the Eagle Bank Bowl.Since then, it’s been a succession of coordinators with eyes on a higher prize than Temple. These kids are the prize and they deserve the stability someone like you can give them and that’s the same kind of stability you gave those kids at Northern Illinois.I have a strong feeling you will hit the ground running because this is a ready-made team with very little in the way of holes to be filled.With the Owls seven-deep at the wide receiver position, nothing would help you hit the ground running (pun intended) than making Isaiah Wright a lead tailback.Just my two cents. I’m sure others will offer their two cents as well. It comes with the territory, as you well know.Again, congratulations. As underwhelmed I was the day Manny Diaz was hired, that’s how overwhelmed I was on your day.Good luck,Mike Gibson